How you will be cheated out of your health care insurance

We begin with these, indisputable facts:

Fantasy Writing Diploma Course - Centre of Excellence
The federal government has the infinite power to create laws, and these laws have the infinite ability to create dollars. The government cannot run short of laws or dollars.

A. Federal laws are created from thin air by the federal government. The government creates any, and as many, laws it wants, so long as those laws are in keeping with the Constitution, which also was created from thin air by the government.

The federal government never unintentionally can run short of laws. It has the infinite ability to create laws.

B. Among the many laws the government created from thin air are the laws that created the U.S. sovereign currency: The U.S. dollar.

Initially, the government’s laws created as many dollars as the government wanted, and gave them the value the government wanted.

This infinite ability to create any number of dollars and to specify their value is known as “Monetary Sovereignty.”

The U.S. government is sovereign over the dollar.

This infinite ability to create dollars does not rely on tax collections. Even if the government collected zero taxes, it could continue creating dollars forever.

The federal government never unintentionally can run short of dollars or laws.

Similarly, the federal government has no need to borrow dollars, and indeed the government does not borrow dollars. It pays all its bills by creating new dollars, ad hoc.

The purpose of federal taxes is not to supply the government with dollars, but rather to control the economy by taxing what the government wishes to discourage, and giving tax breaks to what the government wishes to encourage.

C. Having absolute control over all aspects of the U.S. dollar, the federal government has absolute control over the value of the U.S. dollar, i.e. inflation. The government has the power to change the value of the dollar at will, a power it has exercised many times over the years.

Thus, the federal government has the absolute power to control inflation.


Keeping the above facts in mind, we can review the following article that describes how and why the federal government will cheat you out of your health care insurance.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB)
Two Ways to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs
July 26, 2021

High and rising prescription drug costs are contributing to the budgetary pressure faced by the federal government. Also, a significant number of patients face very high out-of-pocket costs.

Interesting choice of words: “budgetary pressure.” The government not only creates infinite dollars from thin air; it also creates infinite budgets from thin air. And it changes those budgets at will.

So, yes, the cost of drugs easily could exceed the budget, but since the government never unintentionally can run short of dollars, there is no financial pressure.

Any budgetary pressure the government may feel is self-inflicted and essentially meaningless. (Visualize Jeff Bezos budgeting $5,000 to buy a TV set, and discovering the TV set costs $5,001. He may feel budgetary pressure, but will not feel financial pressure.)

Our two new briefs focus on options to reduce prescription drug prices. They include:

Medicare Part B could inject price competition into drug classes that have clinically comparable options but wide price variation – blunting the advantage that higher-priced drugs have under the current formula.

Injecting Price Competition into Medicare Part B Drugs

Currently, Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient physician services, pays for physician-administered drugs by reimbursing physicians the average cost for each specific drug plus a 6 percent add-on percentage of that cost. This arrangement creates misaligned incentives that blunt price competition and advantage higher-priced drugs – especially within drug classes that have clinically comparable options but a wide variation in prices.

This policy option looks at implementing “clinically comparable drug pricing,” where Medicare payments for physician-administered drugs would be set at a single price for groups of drugs within the same therapeutic class. That price would be set at the weighted average of prices manufacturers charge for each of the clinically comparable drugs.

This reform should encourage physicians to administer lower cost drugs and manufacturers to lower prices to maintain market share. The policy would reduce Medicare costs and would likely result in savings for Medicare Advantage plans and commercial payers.

The federal government pays its bills by creating dollars ad hoc. Thus, the government legitimately can be said to have infinite dollars. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending. Tax dollars are destroyed upon receipt by the Treasury.

So, there is no economic value to price competition. In fact, each penny the federal government sends into the economy is economically stimulative, at no cost to anyone.

However, the CRFB seems to claim that physicians make more money when physician-administered drugs are priced higher, and this can influence the choice of drugs. I am not sure how prevalent this situation is, but in any event, there is no fair way to prevent it.

The “weighted average” approach can penalize patients by making some of the more effective, costlier-to-produce drugs unavailable.

As a rule, price competition shifts costs from the government to the private sector, which penalizes the economy as a whole, while also penalizing drug research and development.

Over the next decade (2021-2030), implementing “clinically comparable drug pricing” could:

Reduce total (gross) Medicare spending by at least $122 billion in just three drug classes.
That includes $56 billion of savings to fee-for-service Medicare, $37 billion in lower beneficiary premiums and cost sharing, and $29 billion in savings for the Medicare Advantage program.

In more accurate words, implementing “clinically comparable drug pricing” could reduce the federal stimulus to economic growth by $122 billion in just three drug classes, while having no financial benefits for the private sector..

The policy would also generate private sector spillover savings. For example, in the rheumatoid arthritis class of drugs, the policy could reduce commercial drug costs by at least $21 billion.

Actually, there could be zero private sector spillover savings, if the government simply would pay, but the pharmaceutical industry would receive $21 billion less from the government.

Limiting Evergreening for Name-Brand Prescription Drugs
To encourage medical innovation, the FDA grants temporary market exclusivities to new name-brand drugs. These exclusivities prohibit generic drug competitors’ access to the market for a limited period.

However, drug manufacturers are often able to take advantage of the current rules, using “evergreening” strategies to extend their exclusivity periods and either delay generic drug market entry or limit the number of patients who switch to a new generic.

One evergreening tactic manufacturers employ involves introducing a new “line” or version of their drug shortly before a generic competitor is released.

This new line can be granted its own exclusivity period. For example, a manufacturer may introduce an extended-release formulation just before a generic of the original immediate-release formulation enters the market. This can allow a brand manufacturer to maintain market share in the face of generic competition – increasing its profits and increasing payer and patient costs.

New FDA exclusivity rules could lead to meaningful savings for consumers, commercial insurers, and government payers. The policy change could also speed up the market entry of brand extended-release and other reformulations, providing clinical benefits to patients.

Under a comprehensive, no-deductible, Medicare-for-All plan, there would be no cost for consumers, and government payers (who have infinite dollars) need no dollar savings. More stimulus dollars would be pumped into the economy by federal spending.

As for commercial insurers, they probably would go the way of the manufacturers of street corner phone booths, horse-drawn wagons, Betamax, and audio cassettes.  Medicare for All could offer better service at no cost (and no need to ask for permission to have surgery).

Over the next decade (2021-2030), this policy could:

Reduce federal deficits by at least $10 billion.

I.e. reduce federal economic growth and job stimulus by $10 billion

Save Medicare Part D $7 billion in drug costs and Medicare beneficiaries $4 billion in lower premiums and cost sharing.

I.e., reduce federal economic growth stimulus by $7 billion. If Medicare for All were free, as it should be, premiums would be cut hundreds of billions of dollars, and there would be no need for cost-sharing.

Reduce federal and state Medicaid drug spending.

Medicare for all would eliminate the need for federal and state Medicaid drug spending.

Reduce private sector drug costs by $9 billion.

There is no economic need for the private sector to spend anything for drugs.

In Summary:
Incredibly, the CRFB seems to prefer saving money for the infinitely endowed federal government at the expense of the money-deprived.

The CRFB suggestions are based on these myths:

  1. Federal finances are like private finances
  2. The federal government is funded by federal taxes
  3. The federal government can run short of dollars.

In truth, the federal government has infinite dollars available, has no need for tax dollars, and never can run short of its own sovereign currency. It needs to run deficits in order to grow the economy and prevent recessions, and it has absolute control over every aspect of the U.S. dollar including inflation.

Spending by the rich encourages the media, the politicians, and the economists to promulgate these myths. The purpose is to widen the income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer, aka Gap Psychology.

Here are the CRFB notables, whose mission in life seems to be to help the rich become richer by widening the Gap between the rich and the rest. They have been quite successful.

 

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Just when you’re ready to give up on this world . . .

I’m 86 years old. I already have lost my wife, and even with the most favorable of circumstances, I don’t have much time, and certainly, not much good time, left to enjoy.

So, in the past few years, I had begun to believe in a bleak, short future.

Psychopathic Donald Trump and his immoral, bigoted, hate-mongering acolytes have gained sway.

The amoral Mitch McConnells, the Lindsey Grahams, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes have risen, not on the basis of any good works, but rather because they appeal to the basest instincts of humanity.

Fox News and the loathsome Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, Qanon, Breitbart, the many other conspiracy theorist websites, all have become so popular, that their brand of hatred threatens to win the next American elections.

Even a vicious and violent attack on Congress, attempting to overthrow the foundation of American democracy — our elections — no longer provokes outrage, at least among the millions who are committed to Trumpism.

The ongoing efforts to restrict voting rights, women’s rights, healthcare, and aid for the needy have received near-unanimous voting support from one of our two, major political parties.

Everywhere I turn, I see acrimony, malice, and prejudice replacing respect, love, and human concern.

So, just when I was ready to give up on the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — just when I believed that the “Shining city on a hill” of which Ronald Reagan often spoke — just when I believed my America was irretrievably lost, I came upon this article:

Chicago woman goes on a hunger strike for slavery reparations - Chicago  Tribune
Rachelle Zola

‘Am I willing to die for this?

’ By Nara Schoenberg Chicago Tribune, nschoenberg@chicagotibune.com

She’s white. She’s 73. And she’s on a 40-day hunger strike for slavery reparations. Rachelle Zola began the 40-day, all-liquid hunger strike to support HR 40, a House bill that would set up a commission to study reparations.

Ms. Zola had never been to Chicago. She didn’t have friends or family here. But in summer 2019, she bought a 1969 Mercury Sable with no heat and an oil leak, and drove here from Tucson, Arizona, with a single goal.

Zola wanted to live among Black and brown people. She went to the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side, and began attending meetings and seminars, theatrical productions, symposiums and conferences.

She accepted every invitation, telling those who were curious that she was there to listen and learn.

“Everybody was like, this white woman keeps showing up,” Zola said, laughing. But Zola, a former special education teacher who joined the Peace Corps at age 59, pressed on. Deeply moved by the stories of racism she heard in Chicago, she started sharing them on YouTube.

And then, on May 16, she took a step that was even more radical. She embarked on a hunger strike on behalf of one of the most ambitious and elusive goals of the U.S. racial justice movement: reparations — or making amends through payments or policy — to Black people for slavery.

This is the point at which the bigots, the haters, and the deniers leave the “shining city.” They try to diminish the true horror of slavery and its long-lasting effects that even today, stain our land.

Bright-eyed and energetic during a recent interview, Zola has made it to Day 32 of her all-liquid diet of water, Pedialyte and bone broth. “My question to myself was, am I willing to die for this? And it became ‘yes’ because of all of the (Black and brown) people I know,” Zola said.

“Am I willing to die for my brothers and my sisters when there’s an injustice? The answer is yes.”

Still, she said, she won’t knowingly put her health in danger, and at this point she’s doing well. Her hunger strike, which she hopes will extend to at least day 40, has received support from Dominican University in River Forest, and she’s being hosted during the day by Cosmopolitan United Church in Melrose Park, where she sits on the front lawn, ready to talk to passersby.

Zola’s specific demand is that Congress pass HR 40, a bill establishing a federal commission to hold hearings on slavery and discrimination, and to recommend remedies.

The bill was first introduced more than 30 years ago.

Zola is a bit of a mystery — sometimes even to her closest friends: She’s an intensely spiritual person who receives callings to go to out-of-the-way places and perform daunting tasks. A world traveler who makes friends — and dispenses hugs — with astonishing speed.

In Chicago, she wants to be a conduit for other people’s stories — a white person who can capture the attention and curiosity of other white people.

She bristles with outrage and hurt as she tells the story of a 17-year-old Black girl who, upon noticing the scared faces of two white passersby, thought there was something terrible behind her, perhaps a mad dog.

But when the girl turned and looked, Zola said, there was nothing, and the girl realized that she, herself, was the object of the strangers’ terror.

We digress, for a moment, to point out the “whataboutisms” and the denials that exist among those who have not personally experienced bigotry. Consider Trump appointee and former Attorney General, William Barr:

By Newshound Ellen: In Bill Barr’s America, racism is a thing of the past and if Blacks didn’t behave so badly, they wouldn’t have problems with the police.

And he cited an old quote from Jesse Jackson as “proof” that being afraid of Blacks doesn’t make you (i.e. him) a racist.

I wonder how many Black people who have been needlessly stopped by the police Barr has actually talked to. I’m going to guess none.

Meanwhile, get ready for your jaw to drop as Barr pointed to racist behavior by Blacks to justify racist behavior by whites. It was part of a lengthy interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN today.

Barr: “Racism usually means, you know, that I believe that because of your race, you’re a lesser human being than me and I think there are people in the United States that feel that way. but I don’t think it is as common as people suggest.

“And I think we have safeguards to ensure that it doesn’t really have an effect on someone’s future.

BLITZER: “There’s no doubt there’s been a lot of progress. but do you think Black people are treated differently by law enforcement than white people?”

BARR: “I think there are some situations where statistics would suggest that they are treated differently. but I don’t think that that’s necessarily racism. 

“Didn’t Jesse Jackson say that when he looks behind him and he sees a group of young black males walking behind him, he’s more scared than when he sees a group of white youths walking behind him? Does that make him a racist?”

Here we have Trump’s Attorney General, the man who occupied America’s highest Justice Department position, claiming that being “treated differently” because of your skin color is not racism (What is it, then?)

And that racism “doesn’t really have an effect on someone’s future.”

And racism “isn’t common” and “there’s been progress,” (so why worry about it?) and even Jesse Jackson is afraid of black men, but that isn’t racist. (Except if it isn’t racist, what was he afraid of?)

“Whataboutisms” and denials — in short, “Racism is rare, and I’m not a racist, but even blacks are racist, so being treated “differently” is OK.”

It’s the garbled excuses similar to, “I never did it and I won’t do it again.”, 

Zola also recalled the story of a Black man who attended a parent-teacher conference for his son, then in sixth grade. The teacher acknowledged that the man’s son was doing his work and performing well, but still, there was a concern.

The son was rude, the teacher said, asking pointed questions in class. The man noted that his son was just doing what kids are supposed to do in a learning environment. A white boy would have been praised for such curiosity and initiative, he said.

And then there were the injustices closer at hand. On a crystal-clear morning Monday, Zola was joined at a table in front of Cosmopolitan United Church, as she often is, by her friend Mazell Sykes, 71, of Maywood.

The duo met early in Zola’s Chicago odyssey when Zola visited the North Lawndale Justice Community Court, where Sykes leads peace circles. The two women, one Black, one white — both with short hair, long bangs, eye-catching necklaces and “Rachelle for H.R. 40? T-shirts — chatted easily and laughed at each other’s jokes, but the mood shifted when a reporter asked Sykes what had brought her out in the hot sun.

She spoke about slavery in general, and about rape in particular. “The thing that would get me the most is that a white man could take a Black girl, a Black woman, and have sex with her, and she had no rights, and he could do that as often as he wanted. It was nothing,” she said.

“I just want people to just, down in their gut, imagine how that would feel, if someone did that to you. I was raped when I was a kid, so I know how it feels, but it only happened to me one time. But just think that you live in this situation, and you know this man can come and have you whenever he wants you.

Can you just in your gut feel, how would you go on after that?”

Actually, no. The men who run America, particularly the white supremacist, bigoted conservatives of today, cannot feel in their gut what being raped feels like.

They, like Barr, claim it’s rare but also common, non-existent but even blacks do it, and things are getting better, even though they weren’t bad before, so why get upset about it?

Growing up in Mississippi, the descendent of slaves, she had to skip school three days at a time — to pick cotton, she said. “It’s not a game, it’s not a fairy tale. We lived it,” she said.

“The white man would come to my father’s house at night, and he would tell my father, tomorrow I need this whole field chopped. So that means your children aren’t going to school tomorrow.”

She and her siblings would cry, she said, and the other kids would laugh at them as they rode by in the school bus. “When we did go to school, just imagine: me missing three days of class. What can the teacher teach me? Where would she start? And then, if she gave me homework or makeup work, how was I going to do it? It was a vicious cycle, and this — this was my life in Mississippi.”

Has Mississippi changed so much, now? Has Alabama? Georgia? Louisiana?

Is an inordinate number of American blacks being shot by American police? Are police denying and covering up the killings of blacks, even when confronted with body camera footage?

What happens when there is no video to support the black victim’s version?

Zola, who grew up on Long Island, said she didn’t have a Black friend until 2015, and that while she was outraged after the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers in 1991, she didn’t go out and protest.

The point isn’t guilt, she said; that’s not what she’s about. The point is the depth of the suffering that Black people have experienced and continue to experience, and how easy it can be for white people to look the other way.

“I look at myself as a case study,” she said. “How could I get to be this age and not know the harm? The quick answer is I wasn’t reading those books. I wasn’t reading ‘Just Mercy.’ I wasn’t reading ‘The New Jim Crow.’ I wasn’t reading any of it. What’s amazing now? ‘The Long Shadow’ — that documentary of 90 minutes — if that doesn’t touch your heart, I don’t know what will.”

Zola was 59, married to the love of her life and painting the walls of their rental home in Colorado when she was hit by a deep, unshakable knowledge that she was supposed to leave the country. “It was shocking for both of us,” she said of herself and her then-husband, from whom she was divorced seven years ago.

She felt she had no choice but to go; he said he’d stay — this was her path, not his.

She called the Peace Corps, and within months, the former special education teacher was in Jordan, training teachers. The experience, she said, was intense and transformative. People gave her candy, food and drinks. They watched out for her and helped her.

“I never felt such love as I felt in Jordan,” she said. In 2015, she went on a personal pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan, walking 700 miles in 67 days with a 25-pound backpack. She went to Ecuador in 2016, after a series of earthquakes hit the country, and worked in a children’s home. She also lived and worked in Mexico.

Jordan, Japan, Ecuador, Mexico, and yet she was being true to the American self-view that proclaims:

 “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

She is far more true to the America I want to love than is the former American President who told you Mexicans are rapists, and the Chinese spread myths about global warming, and the Muslims are terrorists and traitors, and immigrants (who “aren’t people; they are animals”) come from “shithole countries,” and our soldiers, who give their lives, are “suckers.”

“Things come up that she knows she can contribute to, or help, or be of service in some way, and that’s where she goes. That’s why she’s on the planet, I guess,” said her friend Diana Keck, 78, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado.

“She’s just an extraordinary woman, and I’m pleased to say one of my best friends.”

Zola said she was hoping that, by now, the hunger strike would have gained more traction. She and Sykes got honks and waves Monday morning while sitting at the table in front of the church, but no one stopped to ask questions.

Politicians have been conspicuously absent.

Worse than absent, politicians have been America’s primary deniers and liars. Politicians, more than any other group, have been responsible for the moral decline of America.

Social media response has been uneven, with one TikTok getting 32,000 views, but many getting a few hundred or a few thousand.

Still, she presses on cheerfully, trying to get someone to help her with her TikTok skills and looking forward to a Q&A with “The Long Shadow” director Frances Causey, scheduled for Wednesday.

After the hunger strike ends, she said, she’d like to get a van and go from town to town, speaking about reparations, getting the word out. The details still need to be worked out, but — as is so often the case with Zola — the vision is clear.

“This is phase one, and I’m not going away,” she said. 

So perhaps, in my doddering years, I may — may — have hope for America, for I now, thanks to Nara Schoenberg, have found a real American, a diamond amidst the coal.

She is a voice of kindness and compassion amidst the cacophony of lies and hatred, greed and intolerance, that have become the new normal in America.

I pray Rachelle Zola forever will be remembered as the true American who lifted her lamp of humanity beside America’s golden door.

I pray she, not Trump, will make a permanent difference in America.

 

 

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

 

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

 

The Medicare for All mystery

I have been with Medicare for twenty years. Four months ago, following a 12-year fight with cancer, my wife spent three weeks in the hospital. The medical bills just for those three weeks exceeded $650,000.

My out-of-pocket cost was less than $1,000. Medicare and the supplement paid the rest.

Based on my personal experience with Medicare, which has been excellent, I believe all Americans — not just those who are 65+ years old — should be able to avail themselves of this program.

Our Monetarily Sovereign government easily could pay for a comprehensive, no-deductible version, that not only would pay for everything but be generous-to-providers so as to attract more people into the healthcare professions.

My sense is that this belief is shared by the vast majority of those who already have Medicare.

And there surely is a need.

Here are excerpts from a health care report that though admittedly is old (2010), I feel quite certain very little has changed:

Among seven nations studied—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last overall, as it did in the 2007, 2006, and 2004.

Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last on dimensions of access, patient safety, coordination, efficiency, and equity.

The Netherlands ranks first, followed closely by the U.K. and Australia.

Quality: The indicators of quality were grouped into four categories: effective care, safe care, coordinated care, and patient-centered care. Compared with the other six countries, the U.S. fares best on provision and receipt of preventive and patient-centered care. However, its low scores on chronic care management and safe, coordinated care pull its overall quality score down.

Access: Not surprisingly—given the absence of universal coverage—people in the U.S. go without needed health care because of cost more often than people do in the other countries.

There is a frequent misperception that such tradeoffs are inevitable; but patients in the Netherlands and Germany have quick access to specialty services and face little out-of-pocket costs.

Efficiency: On indicators of efficiency, the U.S. ranks last among the seven countries,. The U.S. has poor performance on measures of national health expenditures and administrative costs as well as on measures of the use of information technology, rehospitalization, and duplicative medical testing.

Equity: The U.S. ranks a clear last on nearly all measures of equity. Americans with below-average incomes were much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to report not visiting a physician when sick, not getting a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up care, not filling a prescription, or not seeing a dentist when needed because of costs.

Long, healthy, and productive lives: The U.S. ranks last overall with poor scores on all three indicators of long, healthy, and productive lives.

Clearly, the American private insurance industry has been failing Americans, especially those in the lower half of the income/wealth measure.

Before we continue, please remember that of the seven nations compared, five are Monetarily Sovereign and two (Netherlands and Germany) are monetarily non-sovereign.

Why is this important? Because the Monetarily Sovereign nations like the U.S. have the unlimited ability to create their own sovereign currency.

They never can run short of money. Monetarily non-sovereign nations must rely on taxes to pay for things.

Contrary to popular myth, the FICA tax does not pay for Medicare or Social Security. It pays for nothing.

Even if our U.S. government were to collect zero taxes, we have the infinite ability to fund healthcare insurance, indefinitely. Though the U.S. government has this ability, it provides less service than do the two monetarily non-sovereign nations that must rely on taxes.

Because the U.S. private insurance industry has been unable or unwilling to support Americans, various plans under the label “Medicare for All” have been suggested.

Because of Gap Psychology (the desire to distance oneself from those below, on any social measure), the wealthy right-wing opposes such plans, just as it opposes all forms of federal aid to those who are not wealthy.

So, in describing a Medicare for All plan, they intentionally reference plans with shortcomings, then falsely declare those shortcomings are a necessary part of all plans.

Here is an example:

LFA Member Profile: J.D. Tuccille
J.D. TUCCILLE: Let ’em eat cake.

Medicare for All Is Bad Medicine
A better prescription would be to get the government entirely out of health care.
J.D. TUCCILLE

Opponents of choice in medicine are at it again, promoting Medicare for All with the U.S. government as the single payer and private alternatives outlawed.

“Private alternatives outlawed” is not a necessary feature of all Medicare for All plans.

It is not even a necessary feature of today’s Medicare.

For no good reason, today’s Medicare doesn’t pay 100%.

Rather, there are deductibles, that can be covered by private Medicare Supplement insurance.

To my knowledge, the sole purpose of “private alternatives outlawed” is to prevent people from double-dipping, i.e. receiving two payments for the same procedure.

But since the U.S. does offer Medicare, and private alternatives do exist, presumably double-dipping is not a true problem.

The push comes as health care systems around the world try to catch their breath from the stress test inflicted by the pandemic—and by normal demand for expensive services. While American medicine has its share of problems, single-payer supporters would take all of the flaws in the system and make them universal and mandatory.

No, single-payer supporters would take all the benefits of the system, and make the universal.

H.R.1976, the Medicare for All Act of 2021 makes it “unlawful for … a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act” or for employers to offer alternative coverage.

Providers wouldn’t be forced to participate; the proposed law lets Americans pay non-participating physicians out of pocket for services—subject to regulations.

Why would Americans pay for services covered by a hypothetical Medicare for All? To answer that question, look north of the border, where Canada’s single-payer system, commonly called Medicare, struggles to meet patients’ needs.

“With COVID-19 fuelling a surge in hospitalizations, the latest data provided by the Ministry of Health shows that as of December 31, 2020, there were 29,650 people on a waiting list for surgery” in Saskatchewan, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported earlier this month. The CBC noted similar delays in other provinces.

“Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of 22.6 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment,” which is the longest wait recorded, according to the free-market Fraser Institute.

The article continues with a litany of examples demonstrating how, under some forms of single-payer insurance, patients must wait a long time for service.

This is supposed to make you believe that long waits are a necessary problem with a Medicare for All plan, but not with private insurance.

However, any discussion of Medicare only tells you who is paying, the government or the private insurance companies. It says nothing about services from doctors, hospitals, nurses, et al.

Given the federal government’s infinite ability to spend, and no need to scrimp for profits, the federal government has far greater power to pay for any level of service.

It could make the entire health care industry so financially attractive that the numbers of doctors hospitals and nurses could double or triple. Taken to an extreme, the government even could afford to fund a private doctor for every man, woman, and child in America.

OK, no one recommends that, but it merely demonstrates how the government easily can pay — much more easily than private insurance can — for the world’s greatest service. There would be no need for the long waits with which Mr. Tuccille threatens you.

Such waits cost more than money—although they cost plenty of that. “[T]wice as many Ontarians with heart ailments passed away waiting for surgery during the pandemic than before COVID-19 hit,” according to the National Post.

To relieve the backlog, Canadian provincial governments, which manage the single-payer system, are turning to private clinics. In Quebec, “without the private sector contracts, a region like Laval would have delayed 76 per cent of surgeries instead of 31 per cent,” the CBC noted in February.

“Private sector contracts”? Without realizing it, the author, J.D. Tuccille just demonstrated that a Monetarily Sovereign government like Canada’s has the unlimited ability to fund good service.

“Private sector contracts” are simply an example of single-payer insurance. The government pays for service.

It demonstrates that the private insurance sector was unable or unwilling to provide enough coverage, so the government had to step in and pay what the citizenry could not afford to pay.

As the data suggests, though, the public sector in many places had trouble delivering as advertised long before anybody had heard of COVID-19.

No, Mr. Tuccille, the data demonstrate that the private sector could not and did not deliver health care for all. That is exactly what is happening in America.

In Germany, where those making less than €64,350 per year must participate in the government health insurance system which is funded on a quarterly basis, the system runs out of money on a regular basis.

Unlike the U.S., the German government is monetarily non-sovereign. It can, and does, run short of money.

“State health insurance patients are struggling to see their doctors towards the end of every quarter, while privately insured patients get easy access,” Deutsche Welle reported in 2018.

“The researchers traced the phenomenon to Germany’s ‘budget’ system, which means that state health insurance companies only reimburse the full cost of certain treatments up to a particular number of patients or a particular monetary value … Once that budget has been exhausted for the quarter, doctors slow down — and sometimes even shut their practices altogether.”

The “budget” acts as backdoor rationing, limiting costs by choking off access for publicly insured patients to all but emergency medical care once the magic number is hit.

Single-payer advocates often criticize private medicine for being cost-conscious, but government systems put at least as much emphasis on the bottom line as any corporate accountant.

Again, without realizing it, J.D. Tuccille demonstrates why Medicare for All is necessary for America.

You and I and the German government are monetarily non-sovereign. We all can run short of dollars. The U.S. government cannot.

The U.S. government has no profit motive — no “bottom line” — to emphasize.

Sadly, even some Monetarily Sovereign governments are (intentionally??) as ignorant of economics as is Mr. Tuccille.

The Libertarians who bleat and moan about the U.S. deficit and debt, seem to have no memory of the fact that despite massive spending for the past 80 years, and numerous tax cuts, the U.S. government never has struggled to pay its bills.

It hasn’t run out of dollars. It hasn’t had to bounce any checks.

This all relates to the Big Lie in economics that says: “Federal taxes fund federal spending.” It simply is not true.

Federal spending always has been funded the same way: The government passes laws from thin air, and these laws provide for dollars being created from thin air. There is no limit on the laws the government can pass, thus there is no limit on the dollars the government can create.

That’s especially obvious in the United Kingdom, where the National Health Service has a cult-like status.

During the pandemic, this took the form of a “Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.” campaign.

“The NHS is under severe strain and we must take action to protect it, both so our doctors and nurses can continue to save lives and so they can vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as we can,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson scolded the public.

Utter nonsense. Boris Johnson either doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or more likely, he is conning the British public. England, being Monetarily Sovereign, never unintentionally can run short of British pounds. Never.

The campaign worked. Even people with medical concerns stayed home, resulting in a drop in doctor visits and a 90 percent plunge in hospital admissions.

Truly sad that sick people are being lied to by their elected leaders. One might say, it’s sickening.

And now comes the overt statement of the Big Lie:

It’s difficult to imagine Americans venerating government bureaucracy (although feelings about Social Security come disturbingly close).

American’s love Social Security because it provides something they otherwise could not afford to obtain on the private market: Financial support in their old age.

But it’s impossible to pretend that Medicare for All could escape the concerns that plague all tax-paid medicine.

Again, the Big Lie. Medicare is not “tax-paid medicine.” It is government-paid medicine.

“A doubling of all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to finance the added federal costs of the plan,” the Mercatus Center’s Charles Blahous pointed out about an earlier Medicare for All proposal.

WRONG! WONG! WRONG! FEDERAL TAXES DO NOT FUND FEDERAL SPENDING. PERIOD.

Health care in the United States requires reform, without doubt.

But rather than emulate the heavy state involvement that evokes headaches elsewhere in the world, a better prescription would be to get government entirely out of medicine and encourage more competition and choice.

What a pitiful close to a pitiful article. Mr. Tuccille wants your healthcare to rely on the profit motive of American business.

Mr. Tuccille blithely omits the central issue: The unaffordability of healthcare for millions of Americans.

If you are not rich, and you do not have a job that pays for your healthcare, you better not get sick. You either will suffer physically and die early from lack of care and/or suffer financially from trying to pay for your care.

I am retired. I am not poor by any measure, but my wife’s $650,000+ medical bills in January, plus those huge bills we received for all previous12 years of her cancer, would have been financially painful.

As you contemplate Mr. Tuccille’s (and the entire conservative wing’s) thoughtless comments, ask yourself: “What would I do about a $650,000+ hospital bill. And what would my private insurer do about it?”

The federal government not only could afford to pay that bill, but it even could afford to pay a $6 million, or $60 million bill, and never blink an eye. Could your private insurance company afford that?

If you lost your job, would you even be able to find a private carrier who would accept you?

Let us all pray for Mr. Tuccille’s continuing financial ability to afford his private insurance so he can close his eyes to those less affluent than him, and continue his “Let ’em eat cake” articles.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

 

How Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming cheat the poor.

Actually, if you live in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming,  your poor fellow citizens are not the only ones being cheated.

Poor or rich, if you live in those states, you are being cheated, too.Common Issues and Barriers to Access - Accessibility at UB - University at  Buffalo

Medicaid incentive fails to sway holdout states

By Geoff Mulvihill and Jeffrey Collins Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Democrats’ nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package includes a big financial incentive for the states that have opted against expanding Medicaid to provide health coverage for more low-income Americans. It’s proving to be a tough sell.

Top Republican elected officials in the dozen states that have resisted expanding coverage under a key provision of former President Barack Obama’s health care law. Some have softened their opposition, but the key gatekeepers— governors or legislative leaders — indicated they have no plans to change course.

The federal government already pays 90% of the costs of expanding Medicaid coverage to more low-income adults.

If you are a political leader of any of these dozen states, all you needed to do was allow your low-income residents to receive health care.

The federal government would have been paying essentially the full cost for more than four years.

But you have refused free money from the federal government.

Thirty-six states have signed on to the expansion. Two more — Missouri and Oklahoma — are scheduled to begin their expansions in July.

Under the enticement included in the new coronavirus relief bill adopted by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden, the federal government would boost its share of costs in the regular Medicaid program, which offers coverage for the poorest Americans. 

An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found the additional federal money would cover 150% to 400% of the cost for the holdout states to expand Medicaid.

In Texas, the incentives would send the state about $5 billion over two years. More than 1.4 million people in the state could become eligible for coverage.

For Georgia, the estimate says it would add a net $710 million to state coffers and in Tennessee, $900 million.

But your Republican state leaders have refused the money. Why? Two reasons?

  1. It would help low-income people, and the GOP is the Party of the Rich. It cares nothing for the poor. Remember, when it gives tax breaks, it gives them to the rich.
  2. It is a program initiated by the Democrats. Because the GOP hates the Democrats, they refuse everything proposed by Democrats. You, a taxpayer in those dozen states, are punished by that hatred.

“It’s the literal offer you can’t refuse, but let’s see if anyone refuses it, anyway,” said Katherine Hempstead, a senior policy adviser at the nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In Mississippi, one of the nation’s poorest states, advocates say up to 300,000 people — about one-tenth of the state’s population — could become eligible for health coverage if the state adopted the expansion.

Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, said he’s not going for it. He opposed it, even as the Mississippi Hospital Association said it could bring up to 19,000 jobs to the state.

“My position has not changed,” he said this week. “I am opposed to expanding Medicaid in Mississippi. I am opposed to ‘Obamacare’ expansion.”

Who cares that the poor can’t afford healthcare? Not Reeves. Not the GOP.

He calls it the “Obamacare expansion,” so naturally he opposes it, no matter the benefit to Mississippi.

In three of the states — Kansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin — the Democratic governor favors expansion but can’t convince a Republican-controlled legislature.

“It’s not a big enough bribe,” said Richard Hilderbrand, the chair of the Kansas Senate health committee.

Most politicians see the political advantages in helping the disadvantaged. After all, it is the American way, to help the underdog. Healthcare is a fundamental benefit that states provide to all their citizens.

But when your mind and heart are so hardened against the Democrats and against the people who traditionally vote Democratic, even money and jobs aren’t enough to reward you for being moral.

Many Republicans remain concerned about the long-term costs of the program and are ideologically opposed to expanding government health care to working-age adults.

These are the same politicians who themselves receive free health care insurance compliments of the voters, but are “ideologically opposed” to others receiving such a benefit. (“I’ve got mine; who cares about you.”)

“I acknowledge that there are some gaps in coverage that need to be addressed, but I think they can be addressed in ways that do not require us to create a whole new level of entitlement in the state of North Carolina,” said state Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican

“Some gaps” is a euphemism for “poor people are screwed.” And “they can be addressed” means “I don’t have a plan and I have no intention of creating one, and every time someone comes up with a plan, I vote against it.”

It’s a similar story in Wisconsin, where the GOP-dominated Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers are at odds over the expansion. The Democrats’ coronavirus aid package doesn’t change that, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said earlier this month.

“It’s a non-starter, and we will continue to oppose the liberal wish list item of Medicaid expansion,” he said.

“Oppose the liberal wish list” means “I will vote against anything that helps our poor Wisconsinites or is proposed by Democrats. I’m against both those things.”

Hempstead, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said Medicaid expansion is a way to address one of the biggest shortcomings in the national health care landscape: How to get coverage for a group of adults whose incomes put them below the poverty line — $12,880 for a person living alone.

In states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, there are about 2.2 million such people, the Kaiser study found. They usually don’t qualify for traditional Medicaid programs. They also do not make enough to be eligible to buy subsidized private coverage on the health insurance marketplaces established under Obama’s overhaul.

Another 1.8 million in those states who make slightly more — up to $17,774 for an individual — qualify for subsidized coverage but often can’t afford it. They could be covered through an expansion of Medicaid.

The GOP says, “Who cares about those people? Let ’em get sick and die. Let their kids get sick and die. How much money did they contribute to my political campaign?”

Studies have found that adding coverage for these lower-income people reduces charity care in hospitals, allows some to be healthy enough to work and creates additional health care industry jobs.

The financial benefits partially or totally offset the states’ share of the costs over time.

Even in the holdout states, those arguments catch the attention of some Republicans. In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey left open the possibility of expanding Medicaid at some point in the future, but there are no plans to do so.

“The problem has always been how to pay for it,” Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola said.

Excuse me, Gov. Ivey, but the federal government already has told you how to pay for it. The feds will pay for it. You can’t get away with the phony “pay for it” excuse. Voters aren’t that dumb.

The real problem is a relatively recent one. It began during the Obama administration. The GOP measures loyalty to party and Trump above loyalty to America.

Any Republican who agrees with anything said or proposed by a Democrat, no matter how beneficial and accurate that thing may be, will be labeled a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only).

The party will attempt to ostracize you. Trump will insult you and work against you in the next election. You will be called a “socialist” and a “communist.”

You only will receive respect from the GOP if you are a Trump bootlicker, who for instance, wishes to eliminate Obamacare with nothing to replace it, or to lie about the CORONA virus.

It was not always thus. There actually were times past when the two parties could pass legislation to benefit America’s less fortunate. (Hard to believe, isn’t it?)

Today, Fox News, NewsMax, and conspiracy theories run the GOP.  Those folks think your patriotism is not measured by how much you care about Americans, but rather about how much you hate immigrants and Democrats, and how hard you wave a flag — especially a Confederate flag.

So you of the “dirty dozen” states that refuse federal money, continue to pay your state taxes, knowing those state tax dollars could be less if there were more federal dollars coming in.

At least you have the good feeling that comes from not lifting a finger, even when paid to do so, to help those in your state who are less fortunate than you.

We only can hope this is temporary. One day, Trump and his Trumpist stooges will be gone, and America can return to being the compassionate beacon of morality most of us want it to be.

We want a return to America the beautiful, not America the mean-spirited, selfish, uncaring, hard-hearted, bigoted . . .

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY